Happy New Year! And to kick of 2015, seems I got a digger for Christmas! Yes, it's started! Yesterday! OMG the yeays. Well actually, its almost an anticlimax, the diggers dug and then...well they just kept digging. There's only so much of that I can watch. For Mr Three however, it's better than TV, which is lucky for him given we don't currently own a TV. The digger looks so tiny there in the picture, but up close, when it's pushing dirt and (mostly) dust, around it's just impressive enough to tingle the nerve endings. And its doing more than tickle the bank balance. This is where it starts to get real people. These puppies are not cheap. Although with all the quotes we've seen, this one in particular isn't as bad. Things to look for in your digger quote - the hourly rate for both the digger AND the truck that it comes on. (You'll often get a quote for the whole job, but to compare apples and apples ask for the hourly rate) Anything from $85-130 for a smallish digger (12 ton and under) seems standard in Auckland (but let us know if you have had other rates). With our arrangement we are only billed for the actual hours the digger is being used, this because Our Man of Diggers (who owns some of the diggers) is also one of our builders, so he can flick between tasks onsite. It works out pretty great for us, less blokes standing around watching our money disappear.
This is a super difficult part of the build to quote on of course as no one knows exactly what you're going to hit until you actually hit it. Therefore I guess, the "fixed price" quote we were given was almost three times that of others, it's a just a process of contingency for the digger driver in case he/she hit rocks, holes, secret underground fairy-caves complete with rivers....well, you get what I mean. Of course, we cant afford to provide such an expensive just-in-case contingency, so we're doing an hourly rate for this part too and hoping that the Geotech report was right and we're not going to hit very much more than dirt. Fingers crossed!!!
Also, check in with the costs of the truck that is taking the dirt away. If you can, keep the spoils on site as it will save you a LOT of money, but beware that when the dirt starts coming out of the ground it doubles in size, so when we dig our house shaped hole we're going to have two house shaped holes of dirt, plus everything that comes out of the pile holes...it's a lot. If you've done this, or are about to start, feel free to share! No point reinventing the wheel - or digger track.
A family of four: writer, scientist, lego engineer and destruction specialist. Our previous home is featured in New Zealand Interior Style and this new project promises to provide plenty of great, green, smart and maybe madcap solutions to new building in New Zealand.